Dos and Don’ts of Scrambled Rubik’s Cube Costumes.

It’s Halloween and from time to time you will see some Rubik’s Cube costumes. As one does.  Some of them are store-bought.  The great ones are do-it-yourself jobs. Who wouldn’t want to take on the task of making a cardboard costume?  Of these homemade costumes, the scrambled cubes are the most interesting to look at.  And of the scrambled cube costumes, the ones that could theoretically be solved are the best.

So I want to talk to you – the scrambled, homemade, Rubik’s Cube costume makers – about how to place your coloured panels.  Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when placing your colours so that your costume ends up solvable earning this Swart Seal of Solvability:seal

1. Don’t put the same colour on two sides of the same cubelet

Each little square on a Rubik’s Cube is attached to a chunk of black plastic.  The squares on the corner and edge cubies are fused to each other and no amount of twisting or turning will take those two same-coloured squares and place them on the same side.

The two green squares at the bottom corner of this cube can never be twisted onto the same face of a solved cube

2. Don’t have two centers that are the same colour

Rubik’s Cubes have 6 faces.  Each face has a center, so there are 6 faces – each of a different colour.  And so you won’t ever have a cube with two centers that are the same colour.

The two blue centers can never be moved onto the same blue face

3. Don’t have duplicate cubelets

Each cubelet of a Rubik’s Cube is unique.  For instance you can only ever have a green, red, and white corner piece.  Because of course, there’s only one such corner in a solved cube.  Same with edges: you cannot have, say, two white and blue edge pieces because there’s only one such edge in a solved cube.

The orange-green-white cubelet of the near upper corner and the orange-green-<whatever> cubelet of the near lower corner would both need to occupy the same spot in a solved cube

4. Do use an actual scrambled Rubik’s Cube as a model

Of course, all of the above rules can be disregarded if you follow the pattern of an actual scrambled Rubik’s Cube.  I admire anyone who pays attention to detail to this level.  This blog post was inspired by encountering my friend’s son’s Halloween costume this year – he did a great job.


Kyler Monterroso made his costume by following the pattern on an actual scrambled Rubik’s Cube.  As such he earns a Swart Seal of Solvability



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